I thought maybe I had an overdue bill, but that wasn't the case. They've had an automated system set up for the better part of a year now, and it still refuses to work when I call. The drawback is, they're charging now to let you talk to a person in order to verify that your payment was taken care of. It seems after all this time, they would have fixed the automated system, or else they're trying to get more money out of people. That wouldn't surprise me.
Usually, when I let them know that I tried the automated system, they waive that fee for me. But the woman I spoke to on the phone last week said that she was going to have to charge me anyway.
"What? Your system is messed up. I'm not paying you a service fee for that."
"Well, you can pay online, and we don't charge for that."
Yeah, that would be great....if I could get online.
The local library here charges ten cents per book for every day you're overdue. I already had about $3 and some change in late fees from previous check-outs, and when I looked up my account online and realized I was approaching the $5 limit (they don't let you check out books if you have $5 or more in late fees), I decided it was time to return my books. I also had a dvd there that I'd been waiting a few months for.
I generally return my books on time, but the heat wave has made it harder for me to go anywhere during the day. Until recently, I couldn't even walk four blocks without feeling horribly sick to my stomach and needing to sit down.
The library is ten blocks from my apartment, and I thought it would be a lot cooler outside than it actually was. By the time I got to the library, I was worried that if I didn't sit down right away, I might possibly pass out. I had even brought a bottle of water with me as a precaution. It didn't help.
I returned my books at the main desk downstairs, and then took the elevator up to the second floor, where I got the dvd from the shelf and went over to one of the self-checkout computers.
My card wouldn't work, so I walked over to the circulation desk to ask what was wrong with it.
"You owe more than $10 in late fees."
"That's impossible. It was $4.70 last night, after you closed. It couldn't have gone up that much."
"Well, sometimes they charge more after you return the books."
Seriously, who in the hell charges more money after a person returns overdue books? I can see that happening with video rentals, maybe. But not at the library.
"You'll have to go downstairs and talk to them."
With the self-checkouts, the only thing the librarians do all day is check books and dvds back in. They don't even re-shelve them. Someone else handles that. And she couldn't call the downstairs desk for me?
This is probably the tenth time this year that the employees at the library have jerked me around one way or another, and I was already feeling sick and tired from the walk. I ended up snapping at her to give me back my card and put the dvd away because I didn't want it.
And unless I get the overwhelming desire to read a book I don't own, I won't be going back there or paying the late fees.